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The How-To Lounge: Dealing With a Fighting Couple

I don't know about you, but I dread awkward moments. One of the most awkward moments I've experienced was witnessing a couple's meltdown in a restaurant — after a 45-minute argument, the man said he wanted a divorce, the woman left alone crying, and I heard every word. Luckily, I didn't know them, but I have been in situations when I've had to witness one of my friend's arguments. Although most couples try to avoid exposing people to their problems, sometimes things just come out when you least expect it. To learn some helpful tips on handling these encounters,

  • Don't get involved. If you offer up your two cents, you might be making things worse for not only them but you, too.
  • Even if you're closer to one person, it doesn't mean you should choose a side. If you want to tell your friend that you agree with her that's fine, but wait until the two of you are alone. In fact, if your friend asks your opinion during the argument, you should politely decline to offer it.
  • Sometimes fights are just quick bursts that blow over quickly, but other times they can last for hours. If you find yourself dealing with an argument that won't end or that's continuing to escalate, excuse yourself. If that means leaving dinner before dessert, do it anyway — they're the ones being rude not you. Maybe your departure will remind them to take a few breaths.
  • If you're in a situation that you can't easily leave, like in a car or if you're a houseguest, you'll have to decide what would be less awkward for you: Either keep quiet, ride it out, or let them know respectfully, of course, that their fighting is making you uncomfortable.

If you've experienced this type of situation, please share with us how you handled it in the comments below.


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